marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Destroyer of the Gods

Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World by Larry W. Hurtado

Discussing what Christians looked like from the outside at the time.

Opens with some discussion of what "religion" was like at the time, and the demands that Christianity put on every day life. There were devotees who voluntarily dedicated themselves to a god above and beyond the duties put on them by their birth (you had to worship the gods of your people), but they were not exclusive; one votive offering to Isis specifically states it comes from devotees of Poseidon.

How Christian beliefs differed from the belief in a transcendental God among the philosophers as well.

Also goes into depths on how bookish the Christians were, and how they used the codex form when no one else really liked it. And on exposure of infants, gladiator games, and sexual ethics for men -- the demands on women didn't change really if you were pagan or Christian, but pagans often held that prostitutes were valuable as a preventive of adultery.

Interesting stuff.
Tags: history reviews: classical

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